Finding a Design Pattern With Retractable Awnings
Modern design tries to merge pure function with something pleasing and pleasant, something beautiful. Ultimately, modern design fuses those concepts by stripping away embellishment so that the function is its own beauty. One definition calls minimalism the extreme simplification of form. Another common word is reduce, to bring something to its barest essence.
A seminal work in functional planning, A Pattern Language, emphasizes understanding completely how a building or space will be used in order to create natural movement that direction. Retractable awnings are an area where function really defines both style and efficiency in a natural pattern:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Alternating light and shadow
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Warm color and filtered lights
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Juxtaposing soft and hard materials
Aesthetic efficiency is pervasive in all aspects of building design: architecture, interior design, and landscaping. And in all three areas, retractable awnings have a role.
Planning at the Beginning
Modern building designs have several key features:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Highlighting the frame (outline) by removing elaborate trimming
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Unobstructed spaces
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Using light and shadow to add interest and definition to spaces
Retractable awnings are valuable tools for contractors and architects because they inherently capture minimalist style. Retractable awning frames are unpretentious and smooth lined. Retractable awnings have no stanchions, so there is no obstruction to any view. Space remains open, which is fundamental to wide windows or solid glass displays in residential and commercial spaces. Retractable awnings deliver arresting visual impact, with minimal effort, by adding interesting angles to the building facade and through dramatic color, but without frills.
Awnings also provide a simple, green way to control heat gain (lowering energy costs), ultraviolet rays (UV), and glare. Light is extremely important; people naturally gravitate toward light areas. Many areas - breakfast nooks, offices, retail displays, master bedrooms - use starkly large windows as central features because of the attraction of light. Retractable awnings allow that brightness while mitigating the harsh glare of sunlight and UV rays.
Cooling those spaces (anywhere from 8 to 15 degrees) makes them more usable throughout the day and across seasons. With heat control, developers can change the direction of a room to face south or west or to introduce elements like floor-to-ceiling windows.
Carrying Outdoors In
Filtered light describes how the light spreads through a room. Retractable awnings stimulate natural light to augment the effect of a room by diffusing the light with color. Bright retractable awning fabrics diffuse warm tones such as yellow or orange, emphasizing the coziness and appeal of light; this creates native interest and pathways.
As a byproduct of controlling ambient light, retractable awnings unify indoor and outdoors areas. The connection is obvious with rooms which share function with the outdoors, such as sunrooms or mudrooms. The retractable awning, then, can be designed as an extension of the interior decor, using similar colors, details, or frame styles.
Employing retractable awnings can establish continuity in areas where the connection between inside and out is less definite. As filtered light indoors attracts people, creating shadows promotes instinctive movement inside. Thus, retractable awnings over porches and entryways cause a gentle transition indoors.
Part of the Landscape
Retractable awnings have a unique interplay between buildings and nature. Some design theories hold that the gentle motion and suppleness of the fabric in awnings are a foil for hard construction materials, so they segue from the rigid building to the natural movement of outdoors.
This motion of retractable awnings engages senses - sound, touch, sight - and heighten the exterior experience of a home. According to A Pattern Language, the beauty of sensation is awnings' most vital contribution.
In gardens, retractable awnings provide a seamless boundary for sitting areas, while providing functional glare and heat protection. They also maintain balance for plants by shading plants from harsh sun, retarding weed growth, and lessening evaporation, making low-water gardening (xeriscaping) more effective.
Designing in Green
Design minimalism echoes a small environmental footprint. Incorporating retractable awnings into designs at the earliest planning stages brings that environmental minimalist to the heart of the space, whether it's through energy savings in southern rooms or artful xeriscaping in dry climates. Retractable awnings can be an integral part of ecologically minimalist residential and commercial designs, from blueprints to furnishings.